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Zimbabwe Political Parties Dismiss Unity Day As Irrelevant 24-Years On

http://www.voanews.com

22 December 2011

Twenty-four years after the signing of the Unity Day accord, many question
the relevance of the holiday under the present Unity Day government and the
resurgence of Zapu as a political force

Violet Gonda & Sandra Nyaira | Washington

Zimbabwe on Thursday marked 24 years since rival liberation chiefs Robert
Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo signed a unity accord to end hostilities between the
Zanu party of then-Prime Minister Mugabe, and the PF-Zapu of Nkomo.

But many question the relevance of Unity Day particularly following the
formation of the power-sharing government by Zanu-PF and the Movement for
Democratic Change, and the re-launch of Zapu.

Government sources say December 22nd is an officially gazetted holiday – but
without budget support. This Unity Day passed with few speeches by senior
politicians – nothing from Mr. Mugabe or any of his principal governing
partners.

ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told Voice of America his party will proceed
on Friday with rallies and festivities to mark Unity Day. ZANU-PF says its
an important time to ensure that the peace established by Mr. Mugabe and the
late vice president Nkomo remains intact.

The deal marked an official end to fighting between the two rival liberation
parties and the massacres carried out in Matabeleland in the 1980s among
others by the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade.

But Information and Communications Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa said
the Unity Day is a partisan ZANU-PF holiday which should be amended to
become national to celebrate unity, peace and diversity across the country.

ZAPU and the MDC formations also say the unity day is irrelevant,
particularly in the provinces of Matebeleland and Midlands where scars
remain from the Gukurahundi purge in which more than 20 000 civilians died.

ZANU-PF chief parliamentary whip Joram Gumbo said what happened in that
period was “a moment of madness” and that it is now time to forgive and
forget.

“If we want to go back into history and say we never forgive then we cannot
have a country at all. If we want to go back to the history of this country
we will go back to the Matabeleland and the Mashonaland uprisings, and we
will go back to the time when whites were killing blacks - then we will have
mass graves of people who died a long time ago,” said Gumbo.

“In 1980 we forgave the whites and we are living together today,” Gumbo
said.

Zapu chairman for Bulawayo retired Colonel Lazarus Ray Ncube questioned
whose madness it was.

“It’s very good of him (Gumbo) to say people must forgive and forget but one
question that has never been answered was whose madness was it?”

“The conflict is even more glaring taking into account that whoever
perpetrated violence doesn’t seem to recognize the magnitude of that
violence up to this day," said Ncube. "And therefore it would not make any
sense to celebrate this day when those people who saw it all are even
suffering more today, let alone to say those people who were killed at that
time are still lying in the open even some bones are found in the bush.”

The ZAPU official said Unity Day used to be an important day in the country
but has now become a day for only ‘winners and losers’.


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Zuma facilitation team hopeful

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

By Nkululeko Sibanda, Senior Writer
Friday, 23 December 2011 13:15

HARARE - South African President, Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team says it
hopes to make a breakthrough in the Zimbabwean crisis early next year to
enable the country to hold free and fair elections.

In a message issued exclusively to the Daily News, Lindiwe Zulu, the
spokesperson of the facilitation team, said her team would remain committed
to its facilitatory role.

“We would like to wish Zimbabweans a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,”
Zulu said.

“It is our hope that with the New Year, the situation in Zimbabwe will
improve further and things will be better than the previous year.

“As the facilitation team, we will remain committed to helping Zimbabwe find
solutions to its challenges and hope that together we will conquer those
challenges,” added Zulu.

The facilitation team, Zulu said, was hoping to push the negotiations
between the three political parties in the country to their logical
conclusion.

“We still have some issues with the negotiation teams that we still want to
deal with.

“Once those are pushed by the wayside, we are certain that we would have
edged closer to our destination, which is to see the principals in Zimbabwe
meeting the facilitator to do the final review of the situation,” she added.

Zuma was for the better part of the year expected to visit Zimbabwe for a
meeting with President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, and
under-fire Deputy Prime Minister, Arthur Mutambara.

The meeting, it was hoped, would see the four addressing issues pertaining
to the security sector reforms, media and electoral reforms, among other
issues.

“We are sure that once we deal with these outstanding issues and the
facilitation process comes to an end, of course with a free and fair
election capping it all, Zimbabweans will be able to live a life they so
desire.

“Our vision of such a life is where Zimbabweans will be allowed and able to
choose their government in a free and fair election, without intimidation
and the installation of fear in the electorate.

“We also believe there should be no use of violence to cow voters into
submission,” Zulu said.


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Court case proves CIO above the law

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Lance Guma
23 December 2011

The Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) has lost a 13 year legal battle
with two of its senior agents accused of fraud, because there is no law in
the country that governs discipline within the spy agency.

Chief administration officer, David Nyabando, and chief transport officer
Ricky Mawere, were suspended in 1998 on allegations they defrauded the
agency of Z$17 million meant to build ‘safe’ houses. The two were jointly
charged with former deputy director-general Lovemore Mukandi, who recently
returned from exile.

But this week the High Court ruled in their favour and set aside the
suspension. In his order Justice Francis Bere said the suspension was
unlawful and that the time it had taken to hear the case breached Nyabando
and Mawere’s right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time. The two are
to report back to work on the 2nd January.

Justice Bere ruled that: “The applicants are entitled to be reinstated in
their posts and to be paid all salary and other benefits due to them with
effect from the date they were withheld (1998).” The judge said the CIO
cannot hold an enquiry into the alleged acts of misconduct, before a board
has been established at law.

The case highlights several points that have been raised in the past about
why the CIO has built a reputation for indiscipline and gross human rights
violations including, abductions, torture and murder. It’s no surprise the
two MDC formations in the coalition government have called for security
sector reforms.

Takawira Musavengana a human rights and democracy building manager at the
Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, argues that: “The CIO is
probably the only state security agency in Zimbabwe that is not established
under the Constitution or any law.” Despite the agency being mentioned in
other laws, absent is “a clear and explicit legislative framework,” he says.

In an article entitled Security Sector: No Transition without
Transformation, Musavengana says: “The CIO has gone beyond the ‘state’s
absolute obligation to its people’ and is engaged in party political work
and involved in violence against the very people it is supposed to be
protecting from harm.”

In July SW Radio Africa exclusively published a list of CIO agents working
in and outside Zimbabwe. The document was dated 2001 and listed ‘operatives’
working at the time. We serialised over 480 names alphabetically over six
weeks. Even though some may have retired or passed away, many are still
serving.

We followed this up in October by exclusively publishing another list
containing countrywide addresses of over 76 offices and buildings from which
the CIO work. This 2008 list included telephone and extension numbers. Some
of the buildings have been used to interrogate and torture abducted
opposition activists.

The CIO is not used to protect national security and to safeguard
Zimbabweans. Along with the military and the police it is used by Robert
Mugabe and ZANU PF to hold on to power, using brute force and intimidation.


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Travel chaos hits Beitbridge border post

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tichaona Sibanda
23 December 2011

There have been chaotic scenes at the Beitbridge border post in the last few
days, due to the increased volume of human and vehicle traffic.

Beitbridge is among the busiest border posts in the SADC region, with
volumes rising to more than 12,000 travellers and 4,000 vehicles a day in
the festive season. Annually this amounts to about four million people, one
million vehicles and millions of tons of freight.

But with traffic flows hitting record levels in recent years, because of the
ever increasing number of Zimbabweans living in South Africa, facilities at
the border have proved woefully inadequate.

Some of those using public transport are complaining that they are being
asked to pay more than double the normal fee to travel to Zimbabwe from
Johannesburg. A single trip to Harare normally costs R300, but bus and kombi
operators have increased that to R700 in the last few weeks.

Our Bulawayo correspondent Lionel Saungweme told us as long as there is no
infrastructure development at the border post, the congestions will still be
witnessed during peak seasons. He said it takes up to five hours to transit
the border, with the delays particularly bad during peak holiday periods.

‘The government hasn’t learnt a thing. These things happen year in, year out
and nothing has been done to improve or correct the situation,’ Saungweme
said.

The border was set to receive a US$100 million facelift, which government
said would cut delays by 75 percent. But Saungweme said Finance Minister
Tendai Biti recently accused a South African company, contracted to expand
the border post, of failing to complete the job.

‘Biti said government contracted a South African Infrastructure Company to
modernise the border post, revamping its technology and decentralising
clearing systems to curb corruption by Zimbabwe Revenue Authority officials.
The minister said the company was contracted to build a new port but has
spent 13 months on the job doing nothing,’ Saungweme said.


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People Wrench At Banks To Get Cash Ahead Of Christmas Holiday

http://www.radiovop.com

Bulawayo, December 23 , 2011-There was chaos at most banks in Bulawayo on
Friday morning as people jostled to withdraw money in preparation for the
Christmas holiday.

As early as 5 am long queues of people seeking to withdraw their cash had
formed on most banks in the city with some people from rural areas spending
the whole night sleeping on bank pavements.

“I have been here since Wednesday when I failed to access cash due to long
queues. Since Thursday was a public holiday, I had to seek accommodation at
my cousin’s house in Pumula. I did not have bus fare
to go to Binga where I am employed as a teacher,” said Ben Siyachilaba.

Siyachilaba said he spend the whole night on Thursday sleeping at CBZ,
corner Jayson Moyo and 8th avenue.

Another civil servant from Fulabusi, Joel Ndlovu said he also failed to
access his December salary and bonus on Wednesday.

“The problem on Wednesday was that some people were paying security guards
to jump queues. Today I hope the bank officials will address this problem
lest I will be stuck here up to the Christmas period,” said Ndlovu.

There was commotion at most banking halls visited by Radio VOP news crew in
the morning. In some banks street kids were placing desperate cash seekers
in queues for a fee.

“My brother this is also the time to make money for our Christmas. Some
people are not prepared to sleep in queues and we are charging them five
dollars for sleeping in the queues on their behalf,” said a
street kid who identified himself as Chaka.

There are strong fears that cash shortages reminiscent of the country’s
economic crisis might resurface due to the long queues.


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Stranded Air Zimbabwe Passengers Likely To Spend Christmas At UK Airport

http://www.radiovop.com

Harare - Air Zimbabwe’s passengers stranded at London's Gatwick
International Airport are likely to spend Christmas in the cold at one of
London's international airports.

Air Zimbabwe Acting Chief Executive Officer, Innocent Mavhunga could not say
when the stranded passengers would be able to fly home.

“We are hoping to bring them before Christmas, it is not in our interest to
have them spend Christmas there,” said Mavhunga on Thursday.

The stranded passengers have since written a letter to the airline
management and the Minister of Transport and Communications Nicholas Goche,
complaining about their ill treatment.

They gave Air Zimbabwe an ultimatum to fly them home or either re-route them
or refund their money and pay for the extra expenses that they incurred
while waiting to be flown home.

American General Supplies (AGS), a United States firm impounded the
aircraft, a Boeing 767 at Gatwick last week for a long-standing debt of over
a million dollars.

Although Air Zimbabwe is reported to have since paid the outstanding amount,
there are reports that there are other debtors who are lined up to
confiscate the plan to force Air Zimbabwe to pay its debts.

The airline has not been able to refund its passengers.

Mavhunga said if they fail to handle the situation before Christmas
passengers will have to take other alternatives.

“It is either they will have to go back to their homes or we route or refund
them,” he said.

“We are still trying to sort out some logistics so the plane comes to
Zimbabwe before Christmas,” added Mavhunga.


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ZESA owed over $500M in unpaid electricity bills

http://www.bulawayo24.com

by Staff reporter
2011 December 22 23:41:15

Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) Holdings has said it is owed
more than US$537 million in unpaid electricity bills by domestic,
industrial, mining and agricultural consumers as at the end of November.

Spokesperson Shepherd Mandizvidza said the power utility was failing to pay
for electricity imports to supplement local generation because of the amount
owed.

He said they were also failing to pay for coal for thermal power stations,
pay for water for Kariba Hydro Power Station and procure spares for
transmission and distribution infrastructure maintenance.

"Electricity is a key driver of the socio-economic spectrum and the failure
by some customers to heed the call to settle their electricity bills implies
that there would be depressed generation culminating in load shedding as the
power utility would not be adequately resourced to meet demand," said
Mandizvidza.

"Zesa Holdings​ is determined to further revive the economy through adequate
supplies of electricity and it urges customers to meet their side of the
bargain by settling the bills."

ZETDC, a subsidiary of Zesa dealing with the distribution of electricity, is
encouraging customers who are facing challenges to settle their bills to
engage it for payment plans before disconnections are done.

Mandizvidza said many customers were not coming forward to discuss the
payment plans.

"Some customers still remain adamant and the power utility would have no
choice but to disconnect supplies to encourage them to pay their bills," he
said. "To that effect, customers are urged to co-operate with personnel of
ZETDC as they approach their premises to discharge their mandate."

Mandizvidza said Zesa Holdings had plans to install smart prepaid meters to
ensure that customers paid for their consumption of electricity.

He said they were awaiting the finalisation of relevant formalities by the
State Procurement Board (SPB) to engage a service provider of smart prepaid
meters.

"ZETDC would be in a position to recover the revenue that is locked with
customers as the technology has in-built mechanism to dedicate some units
towards customer debt, while at the same time allowing them to survive until
the bills are cleared," said Mandizvidza.

"ZETDC is not going to write off the bills and it is only logical that
customers heed the call to clear their debt now."

Mandizvidza said the power utility successfully undertook an exercise to
clean its billing system and the bills that were being generated were
accurate.

Zesa has come under fire from customers for its billing system which they
say is in shambles.


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Zim’s economy banks on diamonds

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Business Writer/Rapaport
Friday, 23 December 2011 13:21

HARARE - With a projected diamond windfall of $600 million in 2012 — making
diamond revenue the third — largest source of revenue — Zimbabwe’s
government expenditure is expected to rise by 35 percent to $4 billion next
year, diamond trade watchdog Rapaport Group said.

Most of the diamond funds are earmarked for capital investment in water,
transport and education.

The bulk of this diamond revenue, about $530 million, will come from the
state’s 51 percent stake in the Marange diamond fields through its Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), with the balance coming from diamond
royalties.

“If growth does slow to less than five percent — as private sector
forecasters including the global research and publishing unit Economist
Intelligence Unit and the IMF are predicting — the revenue projections for
personal income tax, company profit tax and excise look inflated,” the group
said.

It said although experts say the diamond revenue projection is speculative —
since it depends not just on output but costs, exchange rates and world
market prices, while also being vulnerable to a range of factors from
rampant smuggling to political manipulation and quality issues — Zimbabwe
pins its high hopes of economic recovery on the diamond proceeds.

This comes after Mines minister Obert Mpofu announced on the heels of the
Kimberley Process (KP)’s certification of Zimbabwe’s controversial Marange
diamonds that diamond revenue would revive the country’s economy, reeling
under a $9 billion international debt and a $700 million budget deficit in
the current year.

He said Zimbabwe would sustain its own economy. Mpofu’s joy could, however,
be short-lived following fresh sanctions barring trade in Marange diamonds
United States of America (US), the world’s largest diamond consumer.

Recently, the US government’s Office of Foreign Assets Control added two of
Zimbabwe’s diamond miners — Mbada Diamonds and Marange Resources — to its
long list of people and companies under government sanctions in spite of the
diamond miners having secured KP certification in November.

Meanwhile, Rapaport has vowed to suspend, expel and publicly name any player
that violates the ban.

Rapaport is the world’s largest diamond trading network with daily diamond
listings of over 800 000 diamonds valued at $5, 6 billion and over 6 750
active trading members in 78 countries.

Lobby or advocacy group Global Witness Foundation (GWF) has joined other
players to mount international resistance against Zimbabwe’s diamond trade.

GWF pulled out of the KP in protest to the licensing of Marange diamonds,
saying KP had given Zimbabwe a chance to push its blood diamonds.

Marange Resources is a subsidiary of government-owned ZMDC which was already
on the sanctions list while Mbada is a private company which is in a joint
venture with the ZMDC.

Another Marange-based diamond miner, Anjin China, is an equal partnership
between ZMDC and Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company Ltd of China.


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Anhui farm project helps Zimbabwe's agriculture

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn

Updated: 2011-12-23 16:31
By Wang Ziwei and Ma Chenguang (China Daily Anhui Bureau)

Officers from Zimbabwe's Ministry of Defense reaffirmed that the project
launched in Zimbabwe by Anhui Provincial State Farms Group of China, has
greatly enabled the development of local agriculture by increasing jobs,
mitigating food shortages, promoting food supplies and cultivating
professionals.

While meeting officials from East China's Anhui province in Zimbabwe,
Zimbabwean Minister of Defense Emmerson Mnangagwa and other senior officers
from the ministry spoke highly of the Sino-Zimbabwean agricultural program,
which was started in 2010, noting that the project was a success.

The Anhui-Zimbabwean Agricultural Co-operative Program has made great
contributions to increasing local employment, mitigating the provisions
crisis, promoting food supplies and cultivating professionals by leading
agricultural development in Zimbabwe, they noted while meeting Anhui
Vice-Governor Yu Xinrong, Anhui Provincial State Farms Group President Tian
Wenjun and other officials from Anhui.

"Anhui Provincial State Farms Group is a trusted partner with great
strength," the minister added.

Yu, Tian, Anhui Provincial Agricultural Commission Director Zhang Huajian,
Anhui Provincial Finance Department Deputy Director Zhang Guangshou and
Anhui Provincial Foreign Affairs Office Inspector Sha Linsen led a
delegation to Zimbabwe to discuss further cooperation on the
Anhui-Zimbabwean program. Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Xin Shunkang also
attended the meeting.

Anhui Vice-Governor Yu and Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Xin both expressed
satisfaction in the program, affirming that Sino-Zimbabwean ties are
long-standing and well-established.

There are extensive Sino-Zimbabwean cooperative programs useful in
exploiting advantages for mutual benefit and development, realizing a
win-win goal and common prosperity, Yu said.

Tian Wenjun also expressed his thanks for the support by the Zimbabwean
Ministry of Defense and exchanged ideas on further cooperations. The two
sides signed a letter of intent on expanding cooperations.

[Why the involvement of the Ministry of Defence in Agriculture?  - B]


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Zanu PF delay tactics exposed

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Nkululeko Sibanda, Senior Writer
Friday, 23 December 2011 13:16

HARARE - Efforts by Zanu PF to delay the constitution-making process were
this week exposed after it emerged that claims of drafters’ incompetence and
political party activism were unfounded.

It emerged yesterday that Zanu PF officials were left with an egg on their
faces after the drafters met the constitution select committee to discuss
the said allegations.

MDC spokesperson and party point man at the Constitution Select Committee,
also known as Copac, Douglas Mwonzora, told the Daily News that the meeting
absolved the three drafters, namely former Zimbabwe High Court judge Justice
Moses Chinhengo, Priscilla Madzonga and Brian Crozier of any wrongdoing
leaving the Zanu PF members in the committee embarrassed.

The former ruling party had claimed earlier during the week that there was
need for new drafters as the current crop of drafters was championing the
MDC agenda.

This emerged after the drafters released drafts of the first four chapters
of the draft constitution which they handed over to Copac recently.

Zanu PF then went into overdrive, vilifying the drafters and claimed it had
lost confidence in the drafting team.

“The Constitution Select Committee (Copac) met yesterday (Thursday) to
discuss a number of issues on the constitution and also to review the drafts
that have been produced by the drafters of the constitution,” Mwonzora
explained.

“Contrary to allegations that the three drafters had acted outside the
mandate given to them by the select committee, it emerged that the drafters
had indeed acted within the mandates given to them by the select committee
and therefore the drafters were cleared of any wrong-doing,” he added.

He said that the drafters had been allowed by the select committee to glean
constitutional provisions from the documents they had been supplied with by
the select committee.

The drafters, Mwonzora said, had also been empowered by the select committee
to read far and wide in search of other constitutional provisions applied by
other countries.

“The drafters were given the leeway to draft the constitution based on
documents we gave them as well as research they would make in terms of other
constitutional jurisdictions.

“Arising from the discussions from the meeting yesterday (Thursday), the
select committee reached an agreement that the drafters were still within
the limits that we set out for them and that the allegations of propagating
an MDC agenda or otherwise, were unfounded,” Mwonzora said.

What has further made the episode dramatic is the fact that a recording of
instructions that were given to the drafters was played at the meeting on
Thursday, further dampening the Zanu PF’s argument of the drafters’ untoward
behaviour.

“We have seen also a video recording of the instructions that were given to
the drafting team when it started working,” explained Mwonzora.

“Zanu PF’s Paul Mangwana himself read out some of the instructions and from
the drafts produced so far from what we have, we all realise that what we
have is a product of largely the instructions we gave to the drafters,” he
added.

Information reaching the Daily News suggests that the drafters have been
given the green light to continue with their work. The drafters would
commence work on 3 January next year.

“The drafters are commencing their work on the third of January next year.
We have agreed that they will now relocate to Nyanga where they are going to
do their work. They have been advised to disregard any instruction that is
given to them by any member of the select committee that does not bear the
signature of any other two members of the co-chairpersonship of Copac."

“This is aimed at minimising confusion and chaos that has been created by
some members of the select committee,” Mwonzora said.

Efforts to seek explanation from party point man, Mangwana, on how the party
had lost confidence in the three hit a brick wall on Monday after the Zanu
PF official denied ever claiming his party’s loss of confidence in the
three.

Instead, Mangwana said there was no basis for him to make such a claim as
his party had been in agreement with the drafters’ results as well as their
appointment.

“We have no qualms about what these people (drafters) are doing and have
done so far,” Mangwana said.

“It is a fact that we agreed on the appointment of the three, their terms of
reference and what they have produced so far is in line with what we had
agreed they should focus on,” Mangwana told the Daily News.


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The MDC dissociates itself from the so-called COPAC National Report

Friday, 23 December 2011

The Movement for Democratic Change and the Parliamentary Select Committee
completely dissociate themselves from and completely dismisses the so called
national report published in The Herald.

The report purports to be a Copac report yet it was not Copac that
instructed The Herald to publish this report. The official position at Copac
is that the national report on the constitution making process is not yet
complete and will only be made available to the people of Zimbabwe once it
has been completed.

The minutes to that effect were signed to by all three co-chairpersons of
Copac, Hon Douglas Mwonzora, Hon Paul Mangwana and Hon Edward Mkosi.

It is now imperative to advise the nation that there is no agreement
regarding the formatting of this report. However there is a standing
agreement that any report containing the people’s views must have both the
quantitative and the qualitative aspects of the outreach data. In other
words the data must contain what the people said and the circumstances under
which they said those things.

At no point did the Select Committee submit any report to The Herald. No
member of the authorised Copac staff submited any report to The Herald. It
there is clear that this report is a Zanu PF document written and submitted
by the faction of Zanu PF that is fighting against the drafters in the
constitution making process. It appears that this is the work of some
individuals who are panicking about the possible outcome of the drafting
process.

The MDC reiterates that this report is not authentic for the following
reasons.

a. There is no Select Committee resolution for the publication of any
report. In fact the Select Committee position is that the National Report is
not yet complete.

b. The so called report purports to show the support of the various issues
by ascribing a percentage figure to each issue. That way the authors wanted
to give an impression that certain issues enjoyed the support of the people
of Zimbabwe more than others. This is clearly fraudulent. No voting was
conducted on any issue during outreach. No people were counted. Therefore
how can the authors of the report purport to show figures indicating support
of a thing? How did they arrive at those figures?

c. A Copac report would show where exactly particular information was
obtained. This report does not do so. A Copac report would also show the
atmosphere of each meeting or group of meetings. For example a Copac report
would show that there was violence or that the atmosphere was peaceful. This
report does not do so. It pretends that all meetings, if any were peaceful.
Zimbabweans know that this is false.

d. From the reading of the report it appears that the information written
was obtained in the wards in Zimbabwe. This means that this report does not
contain the views from the Diaspora, institutional submissions,
institutional submissions, people living with disabilities and views from
members of parliament.

It is common cause that Copac obtained views from these sources besides the
public meetings. In so far as it completely omits information from these
critical sources it can not purport to be a Copac document.

e. This so called national report does not include the ” list of
constitutional issues” extracted from the outreach documents by the
technical team that included, Mr. Masimirembwa and Mr. Mudenda of Zanu PF
nor does it include the list of agreed constitutional principles drawn by
the Select Committee and approved by the management committee.

f. Fraudulently, the authors of this report want to use frequencies to show
the popularity of an issue. Yet frequency in the Copac sense refers to the
number of meetings at which a thing was mentioned and not the number of
people who supported the issue.

The so-called report is fake. At the last meeting of Copac it was found that
the drafters had done nothing wrong and that they should proceed with their
work. The drafters advised us that they were taking a Christmas break and
would resume work on the 3 rd of January 2012.

The reports that the drafters were stopped from work are completely false.
The drafters are not going to draft the constitution using the national
report but are going to use the extracts of constitutional issues given to
them by the Select Committee.

The people’s struggle for real change: Let’s finish it!!!


MDC Information & Publicity Department


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Payback time for Zanu PF thugs

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer
Friday, 23 December 2011 13:10

HARARE - It is payback time for some Zanu PF thugs that went on the rampage
in the violent 2008 election as they now face the music.

Five of them who burnt a house belonging to a rival from the MDC party as
they campaigned on behalf of President Robert Mugabe have been asked by the
High Court to pay compensation to their victims.

The case shows Zanu PF militants let loose in 2008 as Zanu PF launched a
violent comeback campaign during a disputed presidential election run-off
can still be held accountable using the courts even if they enjoy close
protection from the political elite.

The run-off paid little for Mugabe, who was forced by the African Union (AU)
to form a coalition with bitter rival Morgan Tsvangirai despite all the
violent effort. Tsvangirai, having won first round voting, boycotted the
run-off citing gross violence led by the Zanu PF militia.

But the five, who are part of militants unleashed to abuse Tsvangirai’s
supporters and officials, will have to pay up or face seizure of their
properties after High Court judge Francis Bere’s ruling.

Justice Bere recently ruled that Sapren Nyamanhindi, Bayai Chitengo, Zvirewo
Chatsamwa, Tinei Mutape and Benson Zuze pay $8 000 compensation to Trust
Katsoke, whom they severely assaulted before burning down his home in Mt
Darwin in the run-up to the blood-soaked 2008 presidential run-off election.

Human rights defenders say although the figure could be minimal, the fact
that those responsible for the 2008 mayhem can be identified in court and
held responsible could come as a warning to youths that could be recruited
into the Zanu PF militia ahead of elections.

Tsvangirai says he lost over 200 of his supporters and officials to
political violence while thousands others were displaced and forced to be
refugees in their own country.


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Zimbabwe: Where pensions can mean poverty

http://www.irinnews.org
 
 
 
Photo: IRIN
The savings of pensioner Kamunjoma Dikani, 73, were destroyed by Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation
HARARE, 23 December 2011 (IRIN) - After working for 42 years at a private company as an office messenger, Kamunjoma Dikani, 73, retired in 2000, just as Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation began to take root.

The company offered him a one-off lump sum of Z$35,000 (US$350), which was quickly eroded by Zimbabwe’s inflation which peaked at billions of percent, before the government abolished the local currency in 2009 and replaced it with a basket of foreign currencies - the Botswana pula, the South African rand and the US dollar. Hyperinflation was cured practically overnight.

While waiting in a pension queue in the capital Harare this month, he told IRIN “I am now solely dependent on my NSSA [National Social Security Authority] monthly pension of US$40 [the minimum for retirees]. This is nothing,” he said, adding that he actually gets less as a $2 “administration fee” is deducted.

The dollarization hit pensioners the hardest, as years of savings simply evaporated under hyperinflation and what was left was killed off in the currency switch. With unemployment estimated at about 90 percent at the time, pensioners had little or no opportunity to return to any form of work.

Pensions systems in Zimbabwe include private contributions made to pension funds and the state contributory system (since 1994) administered by NSSA to which all employees are obliged to contribute.

“Government introduced the NSSA because some workers ended up being destitute after many years of service,” NSSA spokesperson Philemon Chereni told IRIN. “Some workers were given a bicycle or a wheelbarrow in recognition of their long service.”

Those people who retired before 1994 do not benefit from the state pension fund, but many of those who receive benefits still struggle.

Costly travel to collect pensions

Dikani, who lives in Honde Valley in rural eastern Zimbabwe, said that while it should be possible to collect his pension at any post office, he is forced to travel more than 300km to Harare to collect his money, as the local post office does not have sufficient funds to pay pensioners. The round trip costs about US$16.

However, he also receives an additional $80 rental from a house he owns in Harare. “It costs me a lot to come to Harare so I have decided to come every three months,” he said.


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William Takawira, 71, travels monthly to Harare to pick up his pension. He lives in Mrewa a rural area about 50km from the city and pays $4 for the return journey

Forced to retire as a filing clerk after 15 years for health reasons, he collects a disability pension of $20 from the NSSA. “After paying for transport and maybe a meal which I need as a diabetic I’ll be lucky to get home with $10.”

His pension is also boosted by a monthly rent of $60 from a house in a low-income residential area of the capital, which is used for his five school-going grandchildren, of which he is their legal guardian.

“Both parents died and I have to look after the children with my wife.” There is no luxury of a Christmas for them. ”The children will need school fees next term and I have been forced to sell cows before to enable me to pay that.”

Although medical treatment at government health institutions is provided free for all Zimbabweans aged 60 and over, most of the time there are no drugs available. “I get a prescription and have to go to a private pharmacy to buy what I need. Most of the time I just don’t bother.”

The estimated monthly cost of living for a family of four is $540 and the lowest paid public servant earns about $250 per month, with workers in sectors such as agriculture receiving a minimum monthly wage of $44.

Costina Moyo, a 66 year-old widow who lives in Zimbabwe’s second city Bulawayo, retired in 2008 after teaching for 25 years. She receives a monthly government pension of $150 and is also entitled to an NSSA pension of $25, but “was sent from pillar to post” trying to get the NSSA pension but has still not received it, she said.

Ignorance of entitlements

Some supermarkets on certain days provide pensioners with 10 percent discounts on goods and pensioners are only liable to pay 50 percent of municipal rates and refuse collection fees, but the vast majority of pensioners IRIN spoke with were unaware of this.


''The government knows what it costs to live in this country so they must pay us enough''
Pensioners get preference at queues and are allowed to go to the front, but as Dikeni said “It’s OK but you do not eat that.”

Faki Wamambo, 88, receives a UK pension of 12 pounds sterling (US$18), as most of his working life as a nurse was during the time of white-ruled Southern Rhodesia. Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in 1980.

Ignorance of the entitlement to state pensions is also depriving people of old-age benefits.

Gift Muti, spokesperson for the General Agriculture and Plantation Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), said many farm workers become needy on retirement because they did not know about the pension or where to go to claim it. “We are engaged in an education campaign to make them aware of the existence of the pension.”

NSSA general manager James Matiza told local daily The Herald that monthly pension payments range between $40 and $1,447, depending on the pensioner's insurable earnings at retirement and the pension contribution period.

The government’s recent announcement that the minimum pension was to increase by 50 percent on 1 January 2012 was described as “derisory” by both Dikani and Takawira. “The government knows what it costs to live in this country so they must pay us enough,” Dikani said.

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


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Summary On Politically-Motivated Human Rights And Food- Related Violations

http://www.swradioafrica.com/Documents/ZPP231211.pdf

Zimbabwe Peace Project - SUMMARY ON POLITICALLY-MOTIVATED HUMAN RIGHTS AND
FOOD- RELATED VIOLATIONS
November 2011


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Profile: Emmerson Mnangagwa

http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/archives/7194
 

December 23rd, 2011

Emmerson MnangagwaBorn in Zvishavane on 15th September 1946, Emmerson Mnangagwa is perhaps the one figure in Zimbabwe to inspire greater terror than President Mugabe.

Beginning a career steeped in intrigue and violence with the bombing of a Masvingo train in 1965, he sat in jail through the earlier phases of the liberation war, serving the 10-year jail sentence he received for the bombing incident. On his release and subsequent deportation to Zambia, he studied law until 1976 when he returned to Zimbabwe.

On his return, he became Special Assistant for Security for the Office of the President and member of the ZANU National Executive in 1977, although it was not until 1980 that he was to attain his most momentous, and most catastrophic, position as Minister of State for Security, head of the CIO.

Mnangagwa is widely viewed to have orchestrated much of the Gukurahundi genocide of the 1980s, in which those deemed to be ZIPRA cadres or simply ‘dissidents’ – around 20 000 people, largely Ndebele – were brutally and systematically murdered by a specially-commissioned army unit, the Fifth Brigade. Revealing his aims in masterminding the Gukurahundi campaign to have been the annihilation of Matabeleland and the Midlands, Mnangagwa claimed at the time that his “campaign against dissidents can only succeed if the infrastructure that nurtures them is destroyed” and that he had the impunity to raze “all the villages infested with dissidents”.[1]

In 1985, Mnangagwa headed the suppression of the report of the Chihambakwe Commission on the first years of the violence.[2] Earlier this year, he was met with widespread condemnation for claiming that the period of Gukurahundi was now a “closed chapter”, which the MDC of Welshman Ncube stated to be “an insult to the victims of Zanu PF’s grand plan of exterminating the Ndebele people” and which ZAPU condemned as “provocative, irresponsible and not fit to be uttered by someone who knows for sure that 20,000 innocent people lost their lives at the hands of the Fifth Brigade”.[3]

In 1989, he became Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, a position he occupied until 2000, alongside his year-long tenure as acting Minister of Finance in 1995. Defeated in the Parliamentary elections for Kwekwe Central in 2000, President Mugabe decreed that Mnangagwa become Speaker of Parliament instead. Despite another Parliamentary election defeat in the same constituency five years later, President Mugabe appointed him to the role of Minister of Rural Housing and Amenities. After winning the Chirumanzu-Zibagwe seat in the wake of the 2008 electoral violence, he ascended a year later to his current role of Minister of Defence.

As head of the Joint Operations Command, the high-powered body that directs the government’s military strategy across Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa is widely viewed to have coordinated ZANU-PF’s campaign of torture, murder, and repression that comprised the run-off election in 2008.[4] Former Amnesty International Director stated Mnangagwa to have “openly admitted the army’s involvement” in the brutal run-off election campaign.[5]

In 2010, Mnangagwa was reported, alongside Jonathan Moyo and War Veteran leader Jabulani Sibanda, to be planning “a massive genocide across all Mashonaland, Manicaland and Masvingo Provinces” which the three would unleash after the proposed constitutional referendum and upcoming elections.[6]

He has been implicated in a number of coup attempts, in which he or others have given the appearance of hoping to unseat President Mugabe and insert Mnangagwa in his place. His reputed demotion to Rural Housing and Amenities Minister in 2005 has been claimed as punishment for his implication in the infamous ‘Tsolotsho’ coup attempt of 2004. Implicated in another coup attempt in 2009, Mnangagwa reportedly had his offices raided by CIO forces as a result.[7]

Mnangagwa is also widely touted to be the richest politician in Zimbabwe, his powerful and often clandestine business network pervading much of the country and its recent history.

In 2002, Mnangagwa was named by the United Nations as a key player in the illegal exploitation of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s mineral resources, himself taking a cut of illegal transactions facilitated by him in Zimbabwe and recommended by the UN for travel bans and financial restrictions as a result.[8] These stand alongside the targeted sanctions placed upon him by the international community as a result of his role in the last decade of repressive government in Zimbabwe.

Also named in the UN’s report was Mnangagwa’s reputedly long-standing friend, John Bredenkamp. One of Britain’s richest men, Bredenkamp is a man whose history as a collaborator with Ian Smith’s pre-liberation regime sits ill with Mnangagwa’s reputed role in the liberation struggle. Bredenkamp reportedly helped the Smith regime “to purchase arms for its war against African nationalists”, and in 2006 was forced to flee Zimbabwe to escape possible arrest by the ZANU-PF government “on allegations of flouting exchange control regulations, tax evasion and contravening the citizenship act”.[9] Moreover, Bredenkamp was reported to have been “named as the main financial backer of the infamous Tsholotso indaba” and had “thrown his support behind Mnangagwa”.[10]

Mnangagwa was also implicated in an illegal gold trading scandal in 2004, which led to ZANU-PF henchmen threatening to “shoot everyone” at the paper who had published the story and implicated Mnangagwa.[11]

In 2009, Mnangagwa was implicated in a $37 billion foreign currency scandal as a member of the board of Treger Holdings.[12] This followed a string of corruption allegations which had led to a ZANU-PF investigation in 2004 by virtue of his network of connections to Treger, Zidco (on whose board Mnangagwa sits), First Banking Corporation, and a host of other companies associated with ZANU-PF.[13] Mnangagwa’s faction of ZANU-PF reportedly owns a security company, Midsec, the premises of which were subject to a police raid in 2010 and the seizure of “an assortment of heavy guns, bombs, rifles, pistols and shotguns”.[14] Midsec forms a small part of an empire of companies reputedly seized from exiled Zimbabwean businessman, Mutumwa Mawere, by Mnangagwa in 2004.[15] Alleged to have been seized by Mnangagwa were “Zimre, the holding company of Nicoz Diamond, Fidelity Life Assurance, Fidelity Life Asset Management Company, Fidelity Securities, Fidelity Life Medical Aid Society and Zimbabwe Insurance Brokers”, alongside “AAM, Steelnet, Turnall, General Beltings, Tube and Pipe Industries, First Bank, Pigott Maskew, FSI, CFI Holdings, with its subsidiaries, Agrifoods, Victoria Foods, Dore and Pitt, Farm & City, Suncrest, Crest Breeders and Ross Breeders”.[16]

Earlier this year, Mnangagwa reportedly took over formerly bankrupt wholesaler Jaggers, with branches in Harare, Chipinge, Chitungwiza, Graniteside, Mutoko, Filabusi, and Bulawayo.[17]

Questions remain over his involvement in the Marange diamond fields, both financial and factional. Those aligned to the late Solomon Mujuru are alleged to want “to wrest control of the Marange diamonds from the faction aligned to Mnangagwa whose key figures are associated with the companies mining in the controversial area”.[18]

In May this year, Mnangagwa was also implicated in a secret deal with the Chinese government for the funding of “a Mazoe based Military College”, “kept a secret for more than two years” and with the Chinese diamond mining company, Anjin, “believed to be the benefactor” of the deal.[19]

In March of last year, Mnangagwa was faced with embarrassing allegations of extortion of white farmers in the Midlands province, “reportedly demanding as much as US$5 000 from each farmer so that Mnangagwa can “protect” them from eviction”.[20] Reputed to own numerous farms himself, Mnangagwa has continued to threaten violent eviction of white-owned commercial farms through, by his own admission, the “spilling of blood”.[21]

Despite being “taught to destroy and kill”, in 2010 Mnangagwa claimed to have “found God” and will allegedly “die in Christ” after having “found favour” in His eyes.[22]

Alongside President Mugabe alone, Emmerson Mnangagwa stands as the deepest-rooted in the atrocities of Zimbabwe’s past. He remains the critical figure in ZANU-PF’s recent power struggles and a man widely touted for future presidency – all the more so after the death of his political arch-rival, Solomon Mujuru. As the crocodile after which he is nicknamed, his part in Zimbabwe’s future, and the disastrous injuries it may inflict, lies in wait for the people who have so bravely suffered his historic attacks in the past.


[1] Breaking the Silence, Building True Peace: A Summary, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe and the Legal Resources Foundation, 1998, pp. 10-11.

[2] Breaking the Silence, Building True Peace: A Summary, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe and the Legal Resources Foundation, 1998, pp. 12.

[3] http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/jul19_2011.html#Z6

[4] http://www.theindependent.co.zw/local/20298-mnangagwa-running-zanu-pf-campaign.pdf

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/local/20405–as-mujuru-opposes-violence.html

[5] http://www.thestandard.co.zw/local/20693-mnangagwa-admitted-army-violence-says-ais-khan.html

[6] http://www.thezimbabwemail.com/zimbabwe/6209.html

[7] http://www.newzimbabwe.com/pages/army26.16655.html

[8] Final report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms     of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Nations Security Council, 2002.

[9] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/jun/09/zimbabwe.topstories3

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/pages/quit12.14272.html

[10] http://www.newzimbabwe.com/pages/quit12.14272.html

[11] http://www.newzimbabwe.com/pages/iden.1203.html

[12] http://www.newzimbabwe.com/pages/mnanga4.11341.html

[13] http://www.newzimbabwe.com/pages/mnanga3.11637.html

[14] http://www.thezimbabwemail.com/zimbabwe/4287.html

[15] http://www.theindependent.co.zw/local/10777.html

http://www.thezimbabwemail.com/zimbabwe/6661.html

[16] http://www.thezimbabwemail.com/zimbabwe/4287.html

[17] http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/news/40108/mnangagwa-takes-over-jaggers.html

[18] http://www.thestandard.co.zw/local/22821-zanu-pfs-fight-over-diamonds.html

[19] http://www.zimeye.org/?p=29851

[20] http://www.thestandard.co.zw/local/23829-mnangagwa-named-in-extortion-scam.html

[21] http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/news/37370/more-blood-to-be-shed-on-farms–mnangagwa-.html

[22] http://www.newsday.co.zw/article/2010-11-09-i-was-taught-to-kill-destroy-mnangagwa

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